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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

GREEK EDUCATION                        21

I will honour the temples and the religion of my fore-
fathers. So help me, Aglauros, Enyalios, Ares, Zeus, Thallo,
Auxo and Hegemone,"* ' The ordinary education now came
completely to a stop, ;and for a year the ephebus had to labour
hard in company with all the youths of his own age learning the
use of arms and the various military movements, and practising
gymnastics under teachers and a censor appointed by the State.
At the end of this year of training, he received a spear and a
shield from the State, and went off to serve for another year
as one of the patrol force that guarded the frontiers and kept
smugglers and brigands in check. But there were occasional
periods of relaxation for the ephebi in the midst of their strenuous
training* A special place was reserved for them in the theatre,
and they were frequently called on to take part in the religious
processions on the feast-days of the gods* Their varied occupa-
tions in the latter function are immortalized on the wonderful
Parthenon frieze. The ephebic training, it may be added, went
on without change till Athens fell under the power of Macedonia
and had no longer any need of soldiers.

The New Education

The new education was the inevitable result of the profound
economic and political changes that came over the Athenian
State during the first half of the Fifth Century B.C. Before
this time the Athenians had been mainly an agricultural com-
munity, but the great extension of trade following on the endeavour
of Themistocles to make Athens the greatest maritime power
in Greece called into being a new class of wealthy merchants,
to dispute the claims of the landed aristocracy who had previously
been the rulers* [The final outcome of the conflict between
them was the establishment of a democracy in which every
free-born citizen, whether rich or poor, had an equal shareJ
Then came the life-and-death struggle with Persia, from which
Athens emerged with great glory and with added power. With
doubtful wisdom and justice, she sehsed the opportunity to convert
the league of allied States, by means of which the victory had been
won> into an empire on which she imposed her will This
extension of her power opened up fresh chances for the ambitious

* Gmberger, JBrsiehwg im Klassiscfon Alterthum^ in, 61.